Why Try Thailand

damnoen saduak

Let’s be honest. You’re not going to run out of things to do in Thailand. With every island having countless opportunities for fun and adventure, as well as the thriving cities, you’re never going to be bored. But with so many things to do there is the danger you might miss the real highlights the country has to offer. Below is a guide to five of the most fun and memorable activities you need to seek out during your time in Thailand.

Travelling in Style

With so much to see and do in Thailand, why simply explore the country on foot or by public transport? How about taking the country in from a different vantage point – say, on an elephant. The Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang cares for over fifty Asian elephants in a forest near Chiang Mai. Rides up to an hour are available, and your conscience can remain clear thanks to the excellent treatment the centre offers these magnificent creatures. For the most adventurous, an overnight trek is even available, where you can even camp out in the forest with the stars of the show – the elephants themselves!

And once you’ve seen what Thailand has to offer on land, why not take to the water and visit one of Thailand’s floating markets? The most famous of these is Damnoen Saduak, 100km southwest of Bangkok. Here, you can experience the hustle and bustle of a traditional Thai market – from your own canoe – and bargain with traders for fresh fruit and vegetables, in one of the most colourful environments Thailand has to offer.

damnoen saduak

And staying on the water, there’s plenty more of Thailand to be seen beneath the surface. Head to Koh Tao to enjoy the best diving experience in Thailand with Koh Tao Divers. Their team will first teach you everything about diving, in a variety of languages, and then you will go off with a professional to explore the underwater tropical paradise, and its range of stunning coral and fish.

Party Time

Once you’ve visited the tourist hotspots, you might enjoy finding your own little secluded island to relax and enjoy yourself on. Thailand has tens of islands to explore across 5,000 miles of coastline, and you can discover as much of it as you like by island hopping. You can go at your own pace in your personal kayak across the calm seas, and once you reach your destination you’ll find plenty of breathtaking views, crystal clear water and white sand to take advantage of, whether in Phang Nga Bay, Ko Phi Phi Lee or any one of these stunning locations.

And if you’re really in the mood to let your hair down, Thailand has plenty of full moon parties where you can party hard for as long as you want – day or night. The Full Moon Party in Ko Phangan is particularly notorious and attracts crowds of revelers from far and wide. Where better to enjoy a drink and a dance than in the stunning surroundings of a beautiful Thai island?

Once you’ve done all this there’s still loads more to enjoy in Thailand. But hopefully the above five trips will provide some of the highlights of your trip, and great memories you can look back on fondly forever.

Jeffery Glenn is the Founder of the Professional and Technical dive training School based in Koh Tao- Go Pro Asia. Jeffrey has a wealth of experience in the divining industry and is one of the finest PADI IDC Instructors in Thailand.

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Sporting events in and around London

We all know how fanatic Brits are about their football, but this is fortunately not the only type of sports they go wild about. With over 50 major sporting events happening throughout the year here are the top 5 sporting events you should get excited about if you’re visiting London anytime soon.

Wimbledon

One of the largest sporting events in Europe, and considered the most prestigious by many a tennis fan across the globe, Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Keeping to traditions, the Wimbledon Championships are the only Grand Slam tournaments still played on grass, the games’ original surface since 1877 when it was held for the first time at the then ‘All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club Ground’.

strawberries wimbledon tennis

Other Wimbledon traditions such as a strict dress code for competitors, the eating of strawberries and cream by the spectators, and Royal patronage are still being retained to this day. In recent years Wimbledon’s Centre Court was fitted with a retractable roof due to the lovely British summer rain interfering with playing times in the past, so don’t fret if you forget your umbrella at your Hotel.

The London Marathon

If you plan on visiting in spring (late April), you should definitely not miss the London Marathon. Still holding the world record for the largest charity event seeing participants raise 4.6 million in 2009, the marathon attracts professional and amateur runners from all around the globe, so if you’re feeling up for a challenge don’t hesitate to sign up and join the 30,000 plus participants, or well simply go as a punter and join in the fun.

london_night

Six Nations Rugby

Another sports tournament steeped in history, the Six Nations championship is the oldest rugby championship in the world, dating back to 1882. England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy fight for the trophy on each others’ turf from February through to April, hence the games that take place in Twickenham Stadium in London, are considered as one of the most important sporting events of the year, so make sure to book your tickets and hotel as early as possible.

Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race

Starting out as a challenge between two students from the respective Universities in 1829, this annual rowing race between the Oxford University Boat Club and the Cambridge University Boat Club usually takes place on the last weekend of March or the first weekend of April on the river Thames.

An excess of a quarter of a million people watch the 4.2 mile race from the banks of the river between Putney and Mortlake each year with an additional 15 million people watching on the TV.

Royal Ascot

25 or so odd miles west of London lies the small town of Ascot, a small upscale town that hosts the most prestigious races for thoroughbred horses throughout the year. Get your top hats and best attire ready, the Queen and the rest of the Royal family are probably going to be there.

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Holidaying in a caravan vs. holidaying in a bed and breakfast

For those ruminating over the classic dilemma of the caravan holiday vs. the bed & breakfast we lay out the advantages of both below.

What’s so good about a caravan?

Caravan holidays may be something that you associate with an aunt and uncle, or the much-mocked post-war British holiday resort, but caravanning is actually growing at an incredible rate. There are now over 1 million active leisure caravans in the UK and it is estimated that the caravan industry contributes a massive £6 billion to the economy every year. With the recent increase in the popularity of music festivals a new, younger generation have embraced the caravan and all the perks that come with it.

A home away from home

When you set off on a caravan holiday there’s no need to panic about luggage restrictions or what you can and can’t bring because you can take anything that you want with you: bags full of clothes, cosmetics, video games, musical instruments, the dog, the cat; whatever you can fit in a room at home you can fit in your caravan. Taking a caravan on holiday is just like taking your home with you wherever you go and for disabled holidaymakers the ability to transport personalised facilities is invaluable.

caravan on road

Freedom

Owning a caravan gives you the freedom to work on your own schedule. There are no checkout times or dining room hours in a caravan, you can wake up when you want and eat when you want. There’s also no better way to really enjoy the countryside than in a caravan. Caravan owners can pull up and stop wherever they want and then head off somewhere new when they feel like it.

Cost

While a caravan may seem like a big commitment and lot of money up front, for those who plan to take regular or spontaneous holidays it can be very cost effective. Aside from the obvious savings on travel and accommodation, the small things also add up. Having a kitchen wherever you go stops the temptation of purchasing overpriced service station snacks and means that there’s no need to eat out in restaurants every night. Taking your pets on holiday with you can also save on kennel fees or cat sitters. There are of course additional yearly costs involved in caravanning but things like caravan insurance can actually be very reasonably priced and just like at home you can choose when and how you perform your maintenance.

What’s so good about a B&B?

Choosing the right B&B is like any choice on a holiday from picking a restaurant to deciding which bar to frequent. The experience can vary enormously depending on the establishment but when done well, the B&B experience can be a great way to experience local culture, architecture and enjoy the comfort of someone else’s home.

Character

B&Bs often have a lot more character than large hotels and staying in one can be a way to gain an insight into local residential architecture. Many B&Bs have individually decorated and themed bedrooms so it can feel like staying in someone’s finely decorated home and can also mean that no stay is ever the same.

Personal Touch

Staying at a B&B means that you absorb the tastes, company and personality of your hosts. Unlike large hotel chains, breakfast is usually home-cooked by the owners and as a result, can often be gourmet standard, as well as directly catered to your needs. B&B owners are also usually more than happy to help their guests make the most of their stays by passing on local knowledge, tips and ideas.

Costs

While B&Bs often work out cheaper than hotels in the UK, comparing the costs of staying in a B&B to a caravan is a little trickier. Buying a caravan can be a hefty investment whereas B&Bs can be a little as £30 a night. The emergence of Airbnb has also shaken the entire tourism industry with people renting out individual rooms or entire houses/apartments for a fraction of the usual costs. While these rates rarely include the traditional B&B services, booking rooms through Airbnb can be a great way to have a very cost effective getaway whilst still experiencing local cultures and meeting people.

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